Bassel Al Oudat

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Tawasol: Countering Hate SpeechSyria

Bassel Al Oudat is a highly accomplished journalist and Media Director with over 30 years of experience in the media and press industry. With a focus on Middle Eastern affairs and expertise in strategic planning, he has excelled in a variety of roles throughout his career. Mr. Al Oudat began his journey as a Consulting Journalist at the Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies and later was promoted to become the Media Manager and Editor-in-Chief in both Istanbul and Doha. He then became the Editor-in-Chief for the Geiroon Media Network in Istanbul and served as a Correspondent and Writer for the Al Ahram Weekly Newspaper in Egypt and Syria. He also gained experience with positions outside of the Middle East, including a role as a Correspondent and Adviser for the Italian News Agency, AKI, in Italy and Syria, and as a Reporter and Opinion Writer for Al Arab Newspaper in London. Mr. Al Oudat then returned to Syria to become the Newspaper Office Director at Akhbar Al-Arab Newspaper. Currently, he serves as the General Manager of Al Ahali Publishers in Damascus, Syria.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Tawasol: Countering Hate Speech

Bassel's project worked to combat hate speech among Syrians both inside and outside Syria by promoting equality regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender. The project centered on the creation of a website that raises awareness about the media's role in fostering unity, rejecting hate speech and facilitating communication among Syrians and within their diaspora communities. The website also serves as a networking platform for journalists, researchers and politicians who are committed to combating hate speech. In total the website features materials by 29 Syrian and Arab writers as well as 35 international documents for a total of 92 articles published, including resources from the 11 partner organizations that have agreed to let Bassel republish studies and research on his site. The project has engaged women, youth, clerics, Muslims, Christians, Shiites, Alawites, politicians, Arabs, Kurds, people from different regions of Syria, and people from different ideological backgrounds, which is a testament to the project’s success in bring diverse groups together. On average, about 1,100 visitors view the site monthly. The project also established affiliated social networking pages that produced written, audio, and visual materials to counter hate speech among Syrians.

Follow the work of Bassel and the contributors to his online platform: تواصل – مناهضة خطاب الكراهية (

"We urgently need to confront hate speech, which increases the fragmentation and fracture of Syrian social capital. I am definitely a supporter of the idea, and I am happy to participate with you" - Project Contributor

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Bassel was a participant in the IVLP Project Edward R. Murrow Program for Syrian Journalists, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute for International Education.

Bassel's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project. Throughout the IVLP experience he learned "the important role of the media at the civil level, especial during crises and in deepening peace and security."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; St. Petersburg, FL; Boston, MA

Country: Syria

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